Time Required: Eight or more 45-minute periods Grade level: 9th Grade
A. The learner will consider points of view and responsibilities for different points in their life (FA3, 3.5, 3.6, 4.3).
B. The learner will create simple body art images to represent stages in their life (FA1, FA2, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5).
C. The learner will learn the history behind an art form (FA5, 1.9).
D. The learner will explain the significance of the symbols they chose (FA3, 1.5, 4.1).
A. Body Art
C. In Search of History - Art of Tattooing, available from the History Channel (this may need to be edited for content), or other suitable video on tattoo and body art. Click on the images below for full size.
Students read The Seven Ages of Man soliloquy and design tattoos representing a symbol that they believe they would choose at three of the stages of their lives.
1. Hand out copies of The Seven Ages of Man soliloquy. Students will need help developing the meaning behind this passage.
2. Lead a discussion on the different stages. Discussion questions could include:
• Who is someone you know from each stage?
• What are the responsibilities of someone in each stage?
• Which stage do you see yourself in?
• Is it possible to pass back and forth from one stage to the next?
3. As students begin to be able to consider themselves at various stages, have them brain-
storm a list of ideas for symbols of each stage.
4. Instruct students to choose three of the seven stages to use for the tattoos they will apply to their cast. Remind them that they will need to be able to explain the reasoning behind each choice. Also, the symbols should not represent any person at each stage (for example, a pacifier for the first stage), but should be a personal symbol that they might have chosen or would choose if they were at that particular stage. Show teacher and student examples.
5. Students should develop the symbols they choose, using tattoos as a reference.
6. Working in pairs, students will apply plaster cloth anywhere from the knuckles to the shoulder. Require students to at least use one half of the length of their arm. Use a variety of sizes of cut plaster cloth, criss cross for strength, and layer the cloth. Do not apply on more than half of an arm or finger, as it will not be able to be removed. Plaster cloth can be smoothed as it dries to make it more skin-like.
7. Once the casts are dry, students will need to mix an appropriate “flesh tone". Obviously, this will vary from student to student, and teacher assistance is critical. Apply the flesh color to the surface of the cast.
8. Once the flesh color is dry, students can begin to decorate their cast with the symbols they chose. Students need to consider size, placement (this can be an interesting factor), and whether or not to use color.
9. After painting, have each student write a one paragraph description including which stages they chose and why they chose the specific symbol for each stage.
(National Core Arts Standards and/or National Visual Arts Standards Covered: Grade 9-12 Visual Arts Standard 1, 3, 4, & 6)
A. Were symbols carefully chosen?
B. Were the students able to consider themselves at stages in their life that they weren’t
C. Did the written descriptions indicate introspection and speculation?
D. Were the symbols carefully applied to resemble actual tattoos?
Body Art, Taboo, Responsibility, Relativity, Symbolism